Press Release Archive
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., Feb. 2, 2007 -- Rising for four of the past five months, the confidence level of U.S. workers hit a new high in January, according to a recent survey of 4,121 working adults. The Spherion® Employee Confidence Index, a monthly gauge of overall worker confidence, increased 1.1 points to 60.5 in January, the highest level seen since the survey began in July 2004. The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion Corporation (NYSE: SFN), reveals that more workers were confident in both the economic situation and in their personal job situation.
Confidence levels were higher or relatively unchanged for all of the elements that comprise the Employee Confidence Index in January. Specifically, 28 percent of workers believe that more jobs are available, compared to 26 percent in December and 60 percent say they are confident in their ability to find a new job, up two percentage points from the previous month.
"As our recent report and other economic data shows, we're starting off 2007 on solid footing from an economic and confidence perspective. I believe there are a number of factors coming together to push worker confidence to new highs," said Roy Krause, president and chief executive officer of Spherion. "First, the economy is starting its sixth consecutive year of growth and it continues to expand at a solid pace despite the housing slowdown. Secondly, job growth was steady in 2006 and the low unemployment rate suggests that most people who want to work are doing so. And finally, people are earning more money, with hourly wages up four percent in the past year."
Krause continued, "These factors certainly continue to paint a positive picture of the labor and economic situation here in the U.S. and it's not surprising that workers are feeling good about their own opportunities right now."
Results from the January Spherion Employment Report:
Employee Confidence Index: Worker Confidence Reaches New High
Rebounding from a slight decline last month and reaching its highest level since the survey was created in July 2004, the Employee Confidence Index increased 1.1 points to 60.5 in January. The Index, which measures workers' confidence in their personal employment situation and optimism in the macroeconomic environment, increased because more workers reported confidence in the economy, job market and their personal employment situation. The Index is 1.3 points higher than the level reported in January 2006.
Macroeconomic Confidence Index Increases: Reaching its second highest level in the past year, the Macroeconomic Confidence Index was 45.9 in January, rising 1.5 points from December. This increase was a result of more workers saying there are more jobs available and fewer workers believing that the economy is getting weaker. The Index level is two points higher than a year ago.
Specific findings from the Macroeconomic Confidence Index include:
- 28 percent of U.S. adult workers believe that more jobs are available, up two percentage points from December
- Only 34 percent of U.S. adult workers believe the economy is getting weaker, compared to 36 percent in December
- Personal Confidence Index Climbs Slightly: Rising for the second consecutive month, the Personal Confidence Index increased 0.9-points to 75.2 in January as more workers were confident in their ability to find a new job. The Index is 1.4 points higher than the level recorded in January 2006.
Specific findings from the Personal Confidence Index include:
- 66 percent of U.S. adult workers feel confident in the future of their employer, showing no change from December
- 60 percent of U.S. adult workers have confidence in their own ability to find a new job, increasing two percentage points from December
Job Security Index: Workers' Confidence in Job Security Unchanged
- For the third consecutive month, 79 percent of the U.S. workforce believes that it is unlikely that they will lose their jobs in the next 12 months. The Job Security Index is one percentage point higher than the level reported one year ago.
Job Transition Index: More Than One-Third of Workers Plan to Change Jobs in 2007
The Job Transition Index remained at 35 percent for the second consecutive month in January. The Index is one percentage point lower than the level registered in January 2006.
About the Spherion Employment Report
As part of the Spherion® Emerging Workforce® Series of employment surveys, the monthly Spherion Employment Report provides a snapshot of the latest workforce trends across the country and is issued in conjunction with state and national labor market releases. Three key indices are measured: the Spherion Job Security Index, which captures how likely respondents think it is that they will lose their job or that their job will be eliminated in the next 12 months; the Spherion Job Transition Index, which captures how likely respondents are to look for a new job in the next 12 months and the Employee Confidence Index that measures employees' overall confidence in the economy, their employer and their ability to find other employment. The Employee Confidence Index is calculated from the results of four components that reflect these aspects of employee confidence. For each component item a 'score' is calculated by taking the difference of the percentage of positive responses and the percentage of negative responses. These four scores are then averaged to indicate an overall level of employee confidence, with each score ranking on a scale from 0 (no confidence) to 100 (complete confidence). A reading above 50 indicates a positive confidence level.
The January 2007 Spherion® Employment Report is based on data from the Harris Interactive QuickQuerySM online omnibus conducted monthly by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion Corporation. A U.S. sample of 4,121 employed adults, aged 18 years and older, was interviewed in a series of two polls conducted between January 3 and 5 and January 8 and 10, 2007 (December 2006 n=3,927). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, income, education and region were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting adjusted for respondents' propensity to be online.
With pure probability samples, with 100 percent response rates, it is possible to calculate the probability that the sampling error (but not other sources of error) is not greater than some number. With a pure probability sample of 4,121 U.S. employed adults one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results would have a sampling error of +/- 2 percentage points. However, that does not take other sources of error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
Spherion Corporation (NYSE: SFN) is a leading recruiting and staffing company that provides integrated solutions to meet the evolving needs of companies and job candidates. As an industry pioneer for 60 years, Spherion® has screened and placed millions of individuals in temporary, temp-to-hire and full-time jobs. Positions range from administrative and light industrial to a host of professions that include accounting/finance, information technology, engineering, manufacturing, legal, human resources and sales/marketing.
With approximately 650 locations in the United States and Canada, Spherion delivers innovative workforce solutions that improve business performance. Spherion provides its services to more than 8,000 customers, from Fortune 500 companies to a wide range of small and mid-size organizations. Employing 375,000 people annually through its network, Spherion is one of North America's largest employers. To learn more, visit http://www.spherion.com/. For up-to- date career tips and trends, visit Spherion's career blog, The Big TimeSM, at http://www.spherion.com/careerblog.
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is the 12th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world. The company provides research-driven insights and strategic advice to help its clients make more confident decisions which lead to measurable and enduring improvements in performance. Harris Interactive is widely known for The Harris Poll, one of the longest running, independent opinion polls and for pioneering online market research methods. The company has built what could conceivably be the world's largest panel of survey respondents, the Harris Poll Online. Harris Interactive serves clients worldwide through its United States, Europe and Asia offices, its wholly-owned subsidiary Novatris in France and through a global network of independent market research firms. The service bureau, HISB, provides its market research industry clients with mixed-mode data collection, panel development services as well as syndicated and tracking research consultation. More information about Harris Interactive may be obtained at http://www.harrisinteractive.com/.
To become a member of the Harris Poll Online, visit http://go.hpolsurveys.com/PR.
SOURCE: Spherion Corporation
CONTACT: Kip Havel of Spherion Corporation, +1-800-422-3819,